The Ambassador in Egypt (Caffery) to the Secretary of State 1

No. 73

Foreign Minister Salaheddin Bey said, in informal conversation, that he could state his policy on Palestine in a few words:

Egypt would never attack Israel. The Army was being reorganized and reenforced to provide for national security in view of Egypt’s strategic position between the East and West.
Egypt would never make peace with Israel.
Egypt would never recognize Israel.
Egypt would never collaborate with Israel.

He did not elaborate on these points but when it was suggested that the time had come to look upon the situation realistically: Israel was an established fact and that Egypt should now balance its books concerning Israel and get down to its major internal and external problems, he shook his head and said that any other policy on the part of Egypt would destroy the morale of all the Arab states which looked to Egypt for leadership. Any rapproachement with Israel by Egypt would further add to the morale of Israel.

This intransigent stand on Palestine is believed to represent the Foreign Minister’s point of view. It is in keeping with his statements in the past and his record during the Palestine conflict. Whether he will stick to this view in the future is problematical. Nahas Pasha undoubtedly puts considerable trust in him. It is known, for example, that Salaheddin drafted most of the Throne Speech.

Jefferson Caffery
  1. This despatch was repeated to London and other Arab capitals.